Friday, August 19, 2005

SOLIDARITY News Bulletin August 3rd 2005

Save our NHS

A meeting involving a wide range of staff, unions and campaigns such as London Health Emergency has started the process of launching a campaign, “Save our NHS”, to challenge the government’s stepped up privatization offensive.
You can read an initial statement on the web site:

An article on the campaign will appear in the next issue of SOLIDARITY. The absence of a national campaign against the fracturing and privatization of the health service has meant staff have been left to their devises at the local level. This is a long overdue initiative.

Ballot for action to reinstate Gerry Hicks

Jerry Hicks, deputy convenor at the Rolls Royce factory in Filton, Bristol has been sacked by the company. His sacking is linked to the unofficial walk-out by staff against an attempt to sack two Amicus members. The men were reinstated.

A ballot of the Test section manual staff will take place from August 3 – 11. Gerry’s application for Interim Relief will take place on August 5th.

Rush messages of support to , and copy them to . Bombard Rolls Royce with faxes, phone calls, and letters of protest - Rolls-Royce International Limited, 65 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AT Tel 0207222 9020 or fax 020 72279178.

"If management get away with sacking Jerry, it will be open season on every steward across Rolls Royce," says John Locke, a test area steward in Bristol. "And it won't just be Rolls. Other employers, especially in engineering, will draw the conclusion that they can victimise union reps and get away with it. We are asking for the fullest possible support throughout our union, Amicus, and throughout the whole trade union movement. "This is a battle we cannot afford to lose."

Employment Tribunal Decision on Working Time in North Sea oil industry

As reported in Solidarity Magazine Employers in the off-shore oil industry have been denying off-shore oil industry workers four weeks paid leave. This was supposedly on the grounds that the Working Time Regulations did not apply outside the territorial waters of the UK (more than 12 miles off-shore). 300 Tribunal cases were registered, challenging this interpretation by the employers. Towards the end of July the Tribunal issued its initial judgement:

“The judgement of the employment tribunal is:-1. that the Working Time Regulations 1998, as amended by the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2003, apply to offshore work (as defined therein) performed in the United Kingdom sector of the continental shelf (other than an area or part of an area to which the law of Northern Ireland applies); and2. that the said Regulations apply to the present claims which shall now proceed to a full Hearing.”

The ruling of the Tribunal confirms the arguments made from the outset by OILC regarding the application of the Regulations. On the links below you can read a report to its members by OILC, and the full findings of the Tribunal on the links below.

Message to OILC members

Employment Tribunal decision in full

Workers Advice Centre – Monthly Report

WAC, Israel has started producing a Monthly Report which will include news and reports of its activities. If you would like to receive the Report email:

The July one includes:
· An article on the life and death of Palestinian workers in Israel
· Israel's plans for Palestinian workers after the Disengagement plan
· Report of WAC's delegation to Barcelona FSmed meeting
· Invitation to the Film "Breaking Walls" in LaborFest in San Francisco
· WAC's East Jerusalem branch organizes a meeting of unemployed workers – Wednesday July 20th – to discuss ways to fight new "Wisconsin Plan".

Fire Brigades Union

FBU members in suffolk have begun a series of strike against job cuts. You can visit their web site explaining the background to the dispute at:

Meanwhile Andy Dark, the Acting Secretary of the London Region, has won the highest number of nominations for the election of Assistant General Secretary. Andy received 123 nominations. Geoff Ellis, generally considered to be the candidate of choice for the pro-Gilchrist forces, received 103 nominations.


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